The young writer – summer series

The sweat poured down his face as he ran through the small streets which ran up steeply. That summer night Laurent ran as quick as he could through the streets of the 18th district of Paris. “Why were the streets here so steep!”  He couldn’t go back or stop anymore at this point. It was possibly already too late. “Go now, go!!!” That were the only words spinning in his mind as he flew down the stairs of Mont Martre. “Go now!” It was the last thing she said, while she handed him over the little package. He remembered how his mother wiped a tear from her face while he put the package in his bag. “Right” he thought “don’t make this even more difficult for me now.” However, he had left immediately. Even he realized this was the only and most important thing he had to do this night…

Earlier that evening, in the centre of the city, the young man had faced two difficult conversations. First with his mother, then with his girlfriend. “Women!” is what he thought while becoming angry about the whole situation. Always they wanted to be right. It seemed nobody understood also he found this a very difficult situation. Maybe it was the most difficult challenge ever in his life so far! First he had tried to convince his girlfriend if he couldn’t ‘just stop by’ for a moment. But then she had replied very upset he should for once in his life also care about others instead of only himself. Fine. He did care about other people, he did for his family, he did for his grandmother. “Can you give me the package mother” he said when he realized this was the only thing requested to do.

Earlier that day he had spoken at a symposium. Being the youngest speaker he was proud at himself. Several attendees had given him compliments. Laurent was an author of already three bestsellers. Also he was a very good storyteller! He kept the attention of the audience in an effortless way. Once his dad was just like him. Laurent still thought about him very often. His dad was also a master in telling stories, but due to his stormy life including the two world wars, he never managed to publish even one book. The only writings left of him were the letters he sent to each of his family members during the second world war. These documents were cherished and they covered small parts of his dad’s greatest talent. The life of his dad had been short. His dad  passed away while Laurent was only 4 years old. This event hurted everyone, but life went on.

That night Laurent ran through the streets of Paris. Again a life in his family was about to end. And Laurent had received an important last request. He knew. But he also realized this was the most difficult thing he was ever asked to do. However, his grandmother had asked for it. Already three weeks ago. He ran out of breath, and his legs started to hurt badly. Luckily he had almost reached the house where his grandmother lived. The nurse looked annoyed when the young heavy sweating man ran into the room. Only when she recognized it was Laurent, she smiled at him and quickly left the room. Quickly he walked to the bed his grandmother lied in. Her eyes were closed, but he felt it wasn’t too late. Not yet. He took the little package and unwrapped it. “Dear grandmother, it is me, Laurent. I am going to read you from the letters of my dad, your son Philippe. The old woman moved slightly. Laurent stammered a little when he started reading, but more and more he was able to put his storytelling skills in the stories of his dad, in the letters which were so precious to the both of them.

A couple blocks further in the first district, in a large house alongside the river, a young woman stared out of the window. It was the girlfriend of Laurent. She was wondering if he made it, and if he at least got the courage to go read the letters. She smiled. Already she was proud of him he finally went to visit his grandmother tonight. That already was a good thing. She stared for a while at the city lights. and slowly nighttime took over…

PS: wil je dit verhaal in het Nederlands lezen? Ik heb het eerder gepubliceerd, lees het hier: de jonge schrijver


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